Episode 255 with Robyn Sandoval
Rob- Introduction- Welcome to episode 255 of Self-Defense Gun Stories. We’re glad you found us if you’re well trained.. and also if you are new to self defense. I’m Rob Morse and we’re joined this week by firearms instructor Robyn Sandoval. I know you’ve been busy.
Robyn- Hi, Rob. I’ve been busy! Last month alone A Girl & A Gun opened 7 new chapters and we have hundreds of new women each week turning to us for training. Personally, I took a defensive shotgun class past weekend, and this upcoming weekend I’ll be shooting an ASI pistol match with my son. And celebrating my birthday. : )
How about you?
Rob- I was out of the country and am glad to be back home and carrying every day.
We received a new rating on iTunes (is 257,145) and also received comments on our webpage and by e-mail.
Robbie said he wants his wife to listen to our last episode because there are times when he is not home and he wants her to protect herself.
Pastor Mel gave us a news story that we used this week
Thank you both for your support. Please go to the iTunes store where you subscribe to podcasts and let us know why you listen.
Robyn- Here in the US, we defend ourselves with a firearm thousands of times a day. We look at a few recent examples and see what we can learn. The links back to the original news articles on our podcast webpage.
Our first story took place last week in Fredericksburg, Virginia.
Rob- First story- Are you armed in public?
You walked up to the automatic teller machine. It is after dark, but you get your cash and are putting it in your wallet. That is when a man runs up to you and hits you.several times. You own a gun. You have your Virginia Concealed Weapons Permit. You’re carrying tonight. You draw your firearm and shoot at your attacker several times. Now your attacker runs away. You stay at the scene and call the police. When the police arrive, you give them a description of your attacker. The police look at the security video from the ATM machine.
Oddly enough, the police also get a call from a man who said he was shot at while he was at the ATM. They ask to meet with the man and take his statement to file a report. The man matches the description of your attacker. Police arrest him. You identify him. He is a repeat criminal with convictions for armed robbery and using a firearm in the commission of a felony. Now he is held without bond in the local jail. You suffered minor injuries.
Robyn- I’m glad our defender was armed. He had his carry permit so he could legally carry in public. He defended himself and stopped the attack. He stopped shooting when the attacker ran. He stayed at the scene and called the police. He gave a statement when the police arrived, and then identified his attacker.
Rob- Is there anything else you’d like your students to do?
Robyn- Firstly, avoid the ATM if possible because it can be an easy opportunity for criminal activity. If someone is staking out the ATM, the bad guy already has a plan in motion, and our defender won’t know about it until the last minute.
Get cash back at a store instead of visiting the ATM. Even with the rise in ATM crime, there have been little safety measures enacted by banks. Most ATMs have internal alarms that protect the machine, but — other than lighting and maybe cameras — there are little safety measures that protect the consumer. If you must go to one, be in Condition Orange, maintain vigilant situational awareness, have your self-defense tools immediately available, and if possible take a friend who can be on “look out” while you’re making a withdrawal.
Be willing to use your words and shout, “Stop! Get back!” I’ve taken classes specifically on using words to command a situation, or de-escalate one, and it’s invaluable training. An innocent bystander will comply; only a criminal will advance after hearing you.
Rob- When do you teach your students about personal safety and situational awareness?
Robyn- The mindset of being your own first responder is really cultivated before someone even decides he or she wants to become a gun owner or wants to take firearms training. This mindset is paramount to having the desire to learn how to protect yourself and your family, and it’s usually what spurs someone to take professional training courses. So it starts at Day One, if not before, to learn how to take in information around you, how to prep your gear, how to make decisions in advance so that you don’t waste precious seconds trying to figure out your next steps, and you can simply spring into action when faced with a threat.
Rob- Do your students get a chance to shoot from the ground as if they have been knocked down or fallen down?
Robyn- We do offer specialized classes that address alternate shooting positions. Tatiana Whitlock is my DIrector of Training at A Girl & A Gun and she specifically offers a course called “Sh*t Happens” and it methodically walks the students through how to fall with a firearm, how to shoot from the ground, how to get back up with a gun in your hand — all of this while ensuring your safety that the gun is never pointed at your body.
Rob- Anything else?
Robyn- In this case, the defender was the first person to call 911, which established him as the victim for the case file. It’s important that any defender calls 911 and gives the location, that he or she was threatened, that the attacker ran away. Also give a description of the attacker and yourself so that you can be identified as the good guy when police arrive.
Now let’s move on to our second story that happened in Violet Township, Ohio.
Rob- Second Story- Are you armed at home during the day?
Details aren’t clear, but you hear a car crash nearby. You and your friend go outside to see what happened. The driver gets out of the car and runs away. A minute later, the driver runs up and attacks you and your friend. You shout for him to stop, but your attacker hits you again. You present your firearm and shoot the attacker several times. Now he stops hitting you and your friend. You stop shooting and call 911.
Police arrest your attacker and EMTs take him to the hospital.
Robyn- Rob, I would think your first thought would be to look at the toxicology report!
Rob- You know my reputation.
Robyn- This person is obviously unstable, whether it is a mental health problem, or are under the influence of drugs or alcohol. In this case our defender was carrying her firearm. She heard a sound and went to gather more information, and to possibly see if someone needs help. She used verbal commands, and when the attacker kept hitting her, she used her firearm to stop the attack. She then called emergency services.
Rob- What else do you see here?
Robyn- The news story doesn’t say how badly she and her partner were injured. If you have any injuries then have them looked at by EMTs and by your doctor. That leaves a record of injury that is admissible as evidence in court.
Rob- Is there anything else you’d like us to do?
Robyn- Two defenders are always better than one, so in an ideal situation both the defender and the friend would be armed. Team training is excellent for husband/wife teams or parent/child teams or co-workers or friends who are often together. There are so many skills to practice as a team that can make your response more effective, both with armed defense and unarmed defense. Two small people who practice together can stop a very large person.
Rob- This couple were attacked in their front yard. Some states require you to have a carry permit even there. How hard is it to get a carry permit in Texas?
Robyn- As of September Texas is now one of 21 states that allow permitless carry. Any person 21 years of age or older who can legally possess a firearm under State and Federal Law can carry a handgun in the State of Texas without
a permit. Having a License to Carry speeds up the gun-purchasing process and also ensures reciprocity in certain states when traveling, so many Texans choose to get an LTC. It’s a registration fee, class fee, fingerprinting fee, and shooting a qualifier. But this story happened in Ohio, so it’s important to know the laws of your particular state.
Robyn- Our third story happened near Houston, Texas.
Rob- First this message from the Buckeye Firearms Foundation
Rob- Third story- Are you armed at work?
You’re working behind the counter at a convenience store. It is a few minutes before 8 in the morning when two men walk into your store. One of them has a gun in his hand and the gun is pointed at you. He tells you to hand over the money and pushes the gun in your face.
You own a gun. You’re carrying concealed. You push the robber’s gun away. You present your firearm and shoot your attacker. Before you can shoot the second robber, both robbers are running from the store. You stop shooting and call 911.
Your attacker ran next door and begged for help from an ambulance that was parked at Chick-Fil-A. Emergency Medical Services took him to the hospital in critical but stable condition. Police arrested his two accomplices. The news article doesn’t list the criminal charges against the robbers, but it does say that you won’t be charged with a crime.
Robyn- I’m always glad to hear when people are prepared for their personal safety at work, especially when they have jobs that have a high likelihood of this kind of event. In this situation, our defender had the tools he needed, in this case a firearm. He recognized an immediate, lethal, and unavoidable threat to his life and to the lives of anyone else in the store. He was able to push the gun, draw and present his firearm, and shoot in an effective way. When the threat was over he called 911 and gave the police a statement.
Rob- I noticed something that the news article didn’t mention.
Robyn- I’m guessing that you mean the security video? If there was video, it wasn’t given to the TV crews. If you work in a dangerous job like this one, then hopefully there is surveillance video. It might be a deterrent to the crime, but it will definitely be a key part of your defense in court after the attack.
Rob- This defender grabbed his attacker’s gun.
Robyn- We teach close quarters defense. The only way to get the time to present your firearm might be to grab your attacker’s gun and to turn it away from you. Once you do that you’re committed to your immediate defense. You have to shoot your attacker until the threat is over. It’s helpful to practice these techniques so that you can perform them quickly and successfully.
Rob- What should we tell the police when they arrive?
Robyn- Make a brief statement to the police that the attacker threatened you with lethal force and you defended yourself. Tell the officer that you will cooperate, and that you need a little time before making further statements. Make sure that you give yourself a few sleep cycles to gather your thoughts and speak with your attorney, and then give more information to the police for their investigation.
Rob- Carry permit?
Robyn- As we discussed earlier, Texas doesn’t require a carry permit so this defender in Houston would not need one. His concern would be if his employer’s HR policies prohibit him from carrying on the job. And this is a really serious concern that a lot of people don’t give enough consideration to. Sometimes people say, well, you can get a new job and not a new life. This is true, but this could be your family’s income, your loved one’s health insurance, your professional reputation, your entire career that you’ve spent years building, and for some that may feel like their life just ended. So before you agree to work in a store or office that prohibits firearms as part of your HR agreement, consider the risks and make the decision that is right for you and your family.
Robyn- Our fourth story took place in In Jefferson, West Virginia.
Rob- Fourth story- Do you have a gun nearby at night?
It is after midnight on a weekday. You hear a stranger at your door. The news article isn’t clear if the door was unlocked open, or if someone in your apartment let the stranger in. Your roommate tries to push the stranger back outside. The stranger draws a gun and the two men fight for it. You’re armed. You shoot the stranger in the chest one time. Now the stranger drops his gun and stops fighting. Unfortunately, you also shot your roommate in the hand.
You and your roommate back up and call 911. Police arrest your intruder. Emergency Medical Services takes both your roommate and the intruder to the hospital for treatment.
Robyn- Our defender was armed. He recognized a lethal and immediate threat to himself and to his roommate. He defended them until the attack stopped. He called for help and stayed at the scene until the police arrived.
Rob- What else do you want us to do?
Robyn- Talk about your home defense plan with everyone who lives in your home before something like this happens. Think about your defense before you’re woken up from a deep sleep and have to make immediate and crucial decisions. And practice close quarters defense, where you might have to use those techniques if you’re hand to hand with your attacker, or if your partner is going hand to hand. In this case, you have to get close enough that you can shoot the bad guy without shooting yourself or your partner. That might mean grabbing the bad guy’s shirt so that you move with him as they fight. It might be using weapon retention and disarming techniques to get the bad guy’s gun from him. It might mean putting your gun against the bad guy so your partner cannot get between your gun and the bad guy. There are other things, but they are more advanced techniques that are learned in team tactics.
Rob- When do you talk about your students defending their home with their partner?
Robyn- Usually I speak with my students about the basics of marksmanship, safe storage in the home, and situational awareness. Home defense is it’s own unique topic that has a lot of complexity with the layout of the home and the tools that you will want to have staged for different types of emergencies. What firearms platform and caliber, the velocity of the ammunition, lighting sources, hard cover, and most importantly your options to give yourself time and distance to respond or escape.
Rob- What are the important points in a home defense plan?
Robyn- In home defense, you have to pre-decide what should I do, what must I do. Do you have children that you have to get to? Do you have an exit behind you? There are a lot of factors to consider, which is why taking a class gives you greater context to make those important plans.
Rob- We can’t put the entire home defense class into this podcast, but maybe we should do that sometime. Is there anything else that you want to cover before we close?
Robyn- Lock your doors and don’t open them for strangers at midnight.
Exit- Rob- Amen. That wraps up this episode. Robyn, thank you for helping us again. Where can we learn more about you?
Robyn- If you’re an experienced gun owner, or simply interested in self-defense, then look for me at A Girl and a Gun dot org, and at and A Girl & A Gun on all of the social media pages.
Rob- After you look at Robyn’s articles and at their events, then please leave her a message on the podcast facebook page.
Robyn- We share this podcast with you for free.
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I’m Rob Morse. We’ll be back next week with more Self-Defense Gun Stories.